Senior Night 2023, a night to honor the Rams gridiron senior class of Kadyn Radzik, Owen Ackerman, Grady Gustwiller, Carter Guilliam, Brayden Roesti, Joey Guisinger, Graham Askins, Andrew Richardson, & Landon Newsome.
Heading into the final Friday of the regular season, the Tinora Rams had a playoff spot clinched as well as a home playoff game. What they didn’t have clinched was a share of the GMC crown.
The Rams set atop the GMC standings in a tie with Ayersville and Antwerp, each with a 5-1 league record. Tinora needed a win against the visiting Aces to guarantee their 13th GMC football title.
Despite starting the season 3-3 with losses to state ranked Liberty Center, Archbold, and Antwerp, who have a combined record this season of 28-2, the Rams entered at 6-3, including two straight shutouts over Paulding and Edgerton.
Tinora jumped in front of the Hicksville Aces early on a classic, gritty, tough 33 yard score on the ground by Grady Gustwiller. Gustwiller would not be denied as he shock off would be tacklers on his way for the initial score of the game. Bishop added the XP for a 7-0 Rams lead at the 9:50 mark of the first quarter.
The Rams attack came right back as Gustwiller again hit pay dirt, this time on a 25 yard TD pass from QB Dominic Graziani at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter. Bishop added the XP to give the Rams a 14-0 lead.
The Rams were ready to roll at the start of the second quarter as Brayden Roesti hauled in a 2 yard pass from Graziani, Bishop again added the point after for a 21-0- Tinora advantage.
Tinora’s Joey Guisinger was a man on a mission Friday night. Guisinger caught his first two passes of his career, the second went for a 19 yard score with 7:47 remaining in the half, after Bishop’s XP, the Rams of Tinora increased their lead to 28-0.
Right before the half, with 2:07 remaining, Guisinger again was in the spotlight as he rammed in for a 2 yards TD, bishop added the XP for a 35-0 lead.
Tinora dominated the initial half, out gaining the Aces 272 to 49. The stout Rams defense held the Aces rushing attack to -15 yards rushing in the first half.
The Second half saw a running clock as the Rams and Aces traded several possessions. The Rams only scoring drive was thwarted on a Bronson Graber interception in the end zone.
The Aces drove inside the Tinora 10-yard line in the last minute of the game, but the Rams preserved their third straight shutout as they stopped Hicksville on a fourth down attempt.
As the whistle sounded, the Rams clinched a share of the GMC title with Antwerp, who defeated Edgerton. Ayersville was still playing Fairview and needed OT to defeat the Apaches, putting the Green Meadows Conference with a three-way tie atop the standings at 7-1.
This is the first time since 2006 that the GMC ended in a three-way tie, then it was Tinora, Fairview, and Ayersville.
NOTE: Bishop was 37-39 for the season on XP
Tinora improved to 7-3, 6-1 in the GMC. The Rams await the official schedule for next Friday. Possibility of hosting Wynford.
Hicksville sees their season end at 1-9, 0-7 in the conference.
Aces seniors are Caden Steffel, Michael Crawford, Cam Walter, George Green, David Taylor, Carl Ruppert, Lincoln Yoder.
The Higbea Embroidery Player of the Game went to Rams Joey Guisinger, great job, Joey!
1) Gustwiller run 33 yards (Bishop kick)
1) Gustwiller 26 yard pass from Graziani (Bishop Kick)
2) Roesti 2 yard pass from Graziani (Bishop kick)
2) Guisinger 19 yard pass from Graziani (Bishop kick)
2) Guisinger TD run 2 yards
First Downs 12 20
Rushing 16/18 21/177
Passing 10-27-103 12/20/153-1-2
Total yards 43/121 41/330
Penalty 7/55 7/74
Tinora Passing: Graziani 10-16-135-2 TD; O Ferrell 2-2-18-1 int
Tinora Rushing: Gustwiller 3-73-1 TD; Guisinger 4-45-1 TD; Graziani 4/10; Radzik 1-9; Luellen 7/27; Jimenez
Tinora Receiving : Roesti 4-60 ; Gustwiller 3-44 TD; Guisinger 2-19 TD; Radzik 1-12; Schaufele 1-12; Leib 1-6
Hicksville Passing: Turnbull 10-25-101; Langham 0-2-0 yds
Hicksville Rushing: Langham 4-22; Turnbull 8 -3; (24) 2 -1
Hicksville receiving: Langham 5-46; Walter 1-19; Stuckey 2-40; (24) 1-2
For those who watched at listened last night, Coach Fairchild referenced the old school tear away jerseys.
below is an example: